After watching another point guard carve up his man-to-man defense, Kansas coach Bill Self went with a triangle-and-two defense during portions of the second half and it saved the day for Kansas on Saturday night at Allen Fielhdouse.
KU, which trailed by six points at the half despite shooting 57 percent from the floor, slowed down Kentucky's Tyler Ulis down the stretch and that frustrated the entire Kentucky offense.
Despite missing a bunch of free throws along the way, KU continued to ride a huge night by Wayne Selden Jr., who finished with 33 points, and picked up a thrilling 90-84, overtime victory over Kentucky.
Kentucky's gap in the lead in all-time wins shrinks by one. UK leads 2,194 to 2,170.
Images from Saturday's matchup between the Kansas Jayhawks and Kentucky Wildcats at Allen Fieldhouse.
So many of Selden's points came at crucial times in both the first and second halves, and kept Kansas alive when UK was on the brink of taking control.
Although the game was not the most beautifully played basketball game you've ever seen, having the two winningest programs in college basketball doing battle on the same floor in an environment like Allen Fieldhouse, which was absolutely rocking, is good for the game of basketball.
To that end, KU put together a nice presentation and unveiling of James Naismith's original rules of basketball for the halftime entertainment.
Here’s a quick look back at some of the action:
• The game turned when: Kentucky point guard Tyler Ulis started doing his Monté Morris impersonation midway through the first half. As was the case with Morris last Monday, KU had no answer for Ulis, who scored eight points in a six-minute first-half stretch to help put UK on top heading into the locker room at halftime.
• Offensive highlight: They were not rim-rattlers but they were a good sign all the same. After sitting for a good portion of the first half, Carlton Bragg came in and showed no signs of shyness as he pulled three mid-range jumpers, two of which went down thanks to some help a good, old-fashioned shooter's touch. Selden's three-pointer from the corner with less than a minute left that put Kansas up a point also would qualify here. Huge shot. Huge night. Huge stage.
Kansas basketball coach Bill Self rehashes the Jayhawks' overtime victory against fellow blue blood Kentucky, and says while KU labored offensively much of the night, the players got KU the needed result.
• Defensive highlight: It was a pretty subtle play, but huge in the grand scheme of things. After a KU drive to the rim by Perry Ellis led to the ball bouncing around off of the backboard and various sets of hands, Jamari Traylor knocked it away from Kentucky's Ulis, who appeared to secure possession. Traylor's tip went right to Frank Mason III, who stepped into a three-pointer and drilled it to put KU up 69-66 with just under 4:00 to play. Early in the OT, after deflecting a pass to the wing with his right hand, Selden went flying into the crowd (again) to save the ball and steal the possession for Kansas.
Kansas guards Wayne Selden Jr., Frank Mason III and Devonté Graham describe how the Jayhawks battled back to defeat Kentucky in overtime at Allen Fieldhouse.
• Key stat: Turnovers. After coughing it up 11 times in the first half, KU limited its second-half give-aways to three and that helped force overtime. Of course, KU's 18-of-31 free throw shooting in regulation also helped force overtime.
• Up next: The Jayhawks will be back in Allen Fieldhouse on Wednesday night a showdown with another heated rival when K-State comes to town for a 7 p.m. tip-off.
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